Akshay Kumar Ad Slammed for ‘Promoting Dowry’

Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari shared an ad featuring Akshay Kumar to promote road safety. It caught the attention of netizens.

Akshay Kumar Ad Slammed for ‘Promoting Dowry’ - f

"This is such a problematic advertisement."

A campaign video on road safety featuring Akshay Kumar drew flak online as many alleged that the advertisement was promoting the practice of dowry.

On September 9, 2022, Union minister Nitin Gadkari shared the video on social media amid the Indian government’s attempt to promote six airbags in cars.

In the video, a father can be seen crying at the bride’s farewell.

Akshay Kumar, starring as a policeman, taunts the father for sending the newly married couple in a car that has just two airbags.

Calling the advertisement “problematic”, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi wondered who passes such creatives that end up “promoting the evil and criminal act of dowry.”

Chaturvedi tweeted: “This is such a problematic advertisement. Who passes such creatives?

“Is the government spending money to promote the safety aspect of a car or promoting the evil & criminal act of dowry through this ad?”

Saket Gokhale, the national spokesperson of Trinamool Congress, said it was “disgusting to see the Indian govt officially promoting dowry.”

The road safety advertisement was launched after Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, died in a car crash.

Gokhale alleged that the car crash occurred due to faulty road design and the government was deflecting responsibility by pushing for six airbags instead of fixing roads.

Police reports said Mistry and his friend Jehangir Pandole were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Some road-safety experts have claimed that one of the reasons for the accident was that the three-lane highway bifurcated into two bridges of two lanes each on the Surya River.

The accident took place when Cyrus Mistry’s car hit a road divider as the vehicle was approaching one of the bridges.

Another user wrote: “This ad is the pits. Lost the plot completely. Is this about the wedding, the bride or that dowry should be 6 airbag cars – what is it?

“These govt ads are so puerile and ill-conceived. They couldn’t talk about safety any other way?”

Another wrote: “Only in India would the Govt spend taxpayer money to create an ad campaign promoting a punishable offence, dowry.”

Earlier, Gadkari thanked Akshay Kumar for his support of the nationwide National Road Safety Campaign, saying his “efforts in spreading the awareness on road safety issues is truly commendable.”

He wrote on Twitter: “We’re committed to bringing down road accidents in India with awareness & public participation.”

According to a Reuters report, Gadkari expects to finalise rules for all cars to have six airbags by the end of the current fiscal year.

Ravinder is a Journalism BA graduate. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.